Thirty Seconds To Mars Cape Town Concert Review – 23/11/2014

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I purchased tickets for the concert on the 13th of December 2013. I was super excited about it, because I missed their last concert in Cape Town in 2010 and I was REALLY looking forward to it.

Fast forward to May 2014, when the band announced that they would have to postpone their tour due to medical reasons concerning one of the band members. I was devastated as I had put in leave especially for the concert and I had looked forward to it for so long. I had to wait until the 23rd of November 2014 to see them perform.

On the 21st of November 2014, 30 Seconds to Mars had a scheduled concert in Johannesburg. I found out over social media that Shannon Leto was not present, due to him taking ill. I was really disappointed, because I wanted to witness the chemistry between the band members on stage. The band consists of three members and it made the set-up lopsided if one band member was absent.

On Sunday the 23rd of November 2014 I started preparing for the concert, in a despondent mood. I was sad that Shannon wasn’t going to be there and I was feeling a little ill myself.

My sister and I arrived at the venue and we got a relatively good spot in the golden circle. I sat down waiting for Beatenberg to start their set. Beatenberg consists of Matthew Field (vocalist, guitar), Ross Dorkin (bass guitar) and Robin Brink (drums). The band started at 7:30 sharp, which was pleasant. They opened the set with their hit “Chelsea Blakemore” and continued to play some more songs from their debut album which included “Beauty Like A Tightened Bow”, “Rafael”, “Southern Suburbs” and “Cavendish Square”, closing their set with “Pluto”.

Beatenberg ended their set at 08:00 and then the wait began for the band we have all been waiting for. The lights went down, and the pulse-inducing opening sequence started. It took a few minutes before Tomo appeared and another minute or so before the enigmatic Jared Leto appeared with a crown adorning his captivating locks. My ears started buzzing from all the loud screams that filled the arena. I could barely breathe when Jared Leto appeared. For four years he only existed on my laptop screen, on a television screen or on the silver screen. If there is one thing that Jared Leto knows how to do is market himself. He had the audience in the palm of his hand for the entire show.

Anyone who has been to a concert and bought Golden Circle tickets knows that you have to take ownership of your spot on the floor or the other concert-goers might just take the chance to nab your spot which is located closer to the stage. During Jared Leto’s acoustic set he asked the audience to move closer to where he was standing at the walkway in front of the stage. At first everyone was indecisive, but when he insisted the audience obeyed. We moved closer to him and found ourselves in a better place than before.

It was fascinating the amount of interaction that Jared maintained with the audience throughout the show. The band released colourful balloons which reflects the artwork on their latest album cover and they floated around during the majority of the show, additionally streamers were blown into the air to the crowd’s delight.

The band’s opening song was “Up In The Air” and at first Jared’s voice sounded a bit sharp, but it warmed and softened more with the songs which followed. The crowd chanted along with “This Is War” and I loved their performance of “Conquistador” one of my favourite songs. Jared came up close and personal to the crowd during “Kings and Queens”, by the looks of where I was standing he seemed a bit nervous when the audience started tugging and pulling at him. The crowd bounced and danced through “Do or Die”. Jared gave a beautiful and touching performance of “City of Angels”. Things started heating up when he started to sing “End of all Days”. He pulled and tugged at his clothing suggestively to the delight of the female audience. Besides that distraction he delivered the vocals for the song perfectly.

The frontman then started his acoustic set singing a song which his grandfather used to sing to him called “Save Me”. The audience performed the intro for “Alibi” and Jared sang his heart out. The crowd were delighted when he went into a performance of “The Kill (Bury Me)”. During his acoustic set, the hormones of some ladies’ was at its peak. An indication of this, is the amount of suggestive and daring signs members of the crowd were holding up.

The mood turned romantic when the intro to “Bright Lights” started and everyone got their cellphones and lighters up.

After the song ended Jared started calling audience members up onto the stage, which obviously resulted in a lot of excitement. It was a great end to an amazing night and it went by so quickly.

After the show Jared and Tomo were signing Mars’ shirts and if you paid a fee, they would sign it for you. The queue for their signatures was insane! There were about 600 people if not more who got their merchandise signed. The wait wasn’t long though (no photos allowed) and concert-goers passed the time by chatting about the concert and thinking about what they were going to say to Jared when they got to the front. Most people fantasies’ were never realised as everyone went quiet when they saw him. 😀 I was one of those people, I was wracking my brain trying to think about what I was going to say. When I finally got to the front all I could manage was “Thank you, Tomo” and “Thank you, Jared”. Jared was busy signing when I spoke and he made a point to look up at me with those icy blue eyes and said “Thank you very, very much”. He hardly spoke to me, but the look on his face was one of endless gratitude for his fans and his lifestyle/career. My sister was waiting outside for me and was in a place where she could see Jared, she noticed that he made an effort to look up at each and every person when the alternative was to sign as fast as he could without looking up and finish up earlier.

I stand corrected, but from what I could tell and a few audience members would agree with me, but Thirty Seconds To Mars is the only international band to visit Cape Town thus far to take time out of their schedule to do a signing session.

I was sad that Shannon wasn’t there, but at the end of the night Jared and Tomo as well as the rest of the crew made up for it. It was one of the happiest moments of my life and I enjoyed every second of their concert. When they return I will fight tooth and nail to get a ticket if it comes to that.

Thank you to Thirty Seconds To Mars for making such an effort to come and perform for us as often as you can.

Rock Regards,

Lauren K

 

 

Thirty Seconds to Mars Setlist GrandWest Casino and Entertainment World, Cape Town, South Africa 2014, Love Lust Faith + Dreams

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Beatenberg This image is the property of The Rock Riff.

Beatenberg
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Me being stupidly happy. This image is the property of The Rock Riff.

Me being stupidly happy.
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5 GREAT Cover Songs by Rock Musicians

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I love listening to great covers of great songs, but hearing it being performed by a rock band that I like is fantastic. Bands do cover songs for various reasons, to prove to their fans that they are versatile, for marketing purposes, to show their talent or to appeal to a different fan base. Whichever the reason I know I’m always interested to see what a band will be able to do with a popular song or a song that is in another genre. It lets the fans see the band in a new light and it captivates fans of other genres of music.

In no particular order here are 5 of my favourite cover songs that I would like to share with my readers.

Number 1 : 30 Seconds To Mars – Where The Streets Have No Name orginally by U2

Jared Leto really impressed me with the quality of his voice on this song and the elegant way in which the band performed the song. I get goosebumps every time I listen to their version. One of my favourite cover songs for sure!

 

 

Number 2: Smith & Myers – Someone Like You originally by Adele

Smith & Myers, vocalist and guitarist for the rock band Shinedown did a variety of cover songs for their fans that are available on iTunes, but this is my favourite one as I was wondering where they would go with a song as big as Adele’s Someone Like You. It’s really interesting to hear the male vocal on this song in particular and they made it their own which is quite difficult to do with such an iconic song.

 

 

Number 3: Halestorm – Get Lucky originally by Daft Punk

When such a radio-freindly mainstream song gets a makeover it is really refreshing.I love the rock version of Get Lucky. Its gives the song new life. Halestorm have released EPs featuring some great covers, but this one stood out to me, because it was in a genre far-removed from what the band normally does.

 

Number 4: Device ft Lzzy Hale – Close My Eyes Forever originally by Ozzy Osbourne and Lita Ford

What an intimidating song to cover, but no need to worry it was absolutely effortless for David Draiman and Lzzy Hale. They didn’t just do the song justice they dominated it. The combination of Lzzy and David’s voices are impeccable and so is the production of the song.

 

 

Number 5: Santana ft Chris Daughtry – Photograph originally by Def Leppard

In my opinion Chris injects some vigour into the song which some might consider as a classic song that is better left untouched. I truly enjoy the combination of Santana’s flawless guitar solos and Chris’s powerful, belting voice. To me this version catapulted the song into the 21st century.

 

Have your say below, which cover song featured here is your favourite?

 

Have a fantastic week!

Rock Regards,

Lauren K

 

Thirty Seconds To Mars debut “Up In The Air” video

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Thirty Seconds To Mars has just released their latest short film for their latest single “Up In The Air“!

A must see!

You can see the video here: http://www.altpress.com/news/entry/thirty_seconds_to_mars_debut_up_in_the_air_video?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=altpress

Rock Regards,

Lauren K

Band of the Month – Thirty Seconds To Mars

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30 Seconds to Mars

30 Seconds to Mars
Photo by Terry Richardson

There has been quite a bit of buzz going on in the Mars camp lately following a year of anticipation for fans awating their fourth album. I have to say that I have been looking forward to the 4th album myself for quite a while now. Mars never ceases to amaze and I’m sure this time it won’t be any different. Seeing as Jared and Shannon have shaved their “Lincoln” beards off at the end of October I normally see this as a sign that they mean business.

Artifact, 30 Seconds to Mars’s documentary about their legal battle with EMI and the making of their third album This Is War premiered at the Toronto Film Festival on the 14th of September 2012. Artifact won the People’s Choice Award for the documentary (which was a no-brainer in my book). In my opinion the lawsuit shaped the powerful album which This Is War ultimately became. Jared directed this film under his alias Bartholomew Cubbins and he made the film in order to demonstrate the greed and unfair practices that thrives within the music industry and within the systems that some record labels have in place. Keep in mind the position the band was in at the time, they have had a little commercial success with A Beautiful Lie released in 2005 and now they are locked in a battle with multi-billion-dollar conglomerate. That fact alone is quite daunting. Artifact was filmed more or less in 2008-2009.

This is War was recorded in Jared Leto‘s home in a futuristic-looking studio which Jared, Shannon and Tomo financed out of their own pockets. At the time they didn’t have a firm distribution plan or the backing of a label, they were hard at work making a new album which might never have seen the light of day. Thats a pretty spectacular, risky and brave undertaking. The album was uninfluenced and untouched by anyone whose opinion 30 Seconds To Mars didn’t respect. This Is War is a raw and rare piece of art that was created without any creative restrictions, how many albums in the music industry do you know of where this was the case?

This is War was released on the 8th of December 2009 and on the 19th of February 2010 30 Seconds to Mars embarked on their worldwide Into The Wild tour which little known to them would become a record breaking tour. The tour ended on the 7th of December 2011 at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City. Their last show was streamed by making use of VyRT, a high quality livestream that give artists the opportunity to sell digital tickets to live events that are broadcast worldwide in an online social theater. One week after their last concert 30 Seconds To Mars took their rightful place in the Guiness Book of World Records as the Longest Concert Tour by a Rock Band, because they played 309 concerts in two years.

An interesting fact is that NASA plays a song every morning in order to wake up the Curiosity Rover ever since it reached Mars and the song Echelon from 30 Seconds To Mars’s debut album made the Sol6 playlist, which is quite fitting.

On the 1st of November tickets were made available for The Mars Laboratory Part II event on VyRT which will take place on the 1st of December 2012. The event will include an acoustic set, new music, Artifact and the live tour film. 30 Seconds to Mars has used VyRT to connect with their fans in a more personal way and to convey more information to them via this medium.Anyone who purchases a VyRT ticket will automatically be entered to win a trip to Los Angeles to watch the event live, which should be pretty mind-blowing for those attending.

I really can’t wait for the live tour film to be released since its been in the pipeline for quite a long time. Jared is truly a great director, because he sees things from a different perspective than most of us do. I’m sure he has a lot of help in order to create what he envisions for a project, but he succeeds in taking the viewer closer to the action that is happening on the screen and draws them in.

I’m quite aware of the fact that there are two other amazing musicians in the band, but I just have to commend Jared Leto on all his great ideas to promote the band. He is always coming up with new ways to engage the audience and to make 30 Seconds to Mars an experience rather than just another band. For example in A Beautiful Lie’s Deluxe Edition the band requested that members of the Echelon send in their names, so that they can be thanked for their continued support. As a result the inside covers of the Deluxe Edition contain a list of the fans’ names. Another example is when the band asked fans to send in photosof themselves of which the band chose 2000 of the best fan photos and released it as the cover for the albums. Celebrities featured on some of the covers are Jared and Shannon Leto‘s mom, Bam Margera, Kat Von D and Conan O’Brien. As a Marketing graduate I can really learn from and appreciate Jared’s innovative ideas and I see him as a pioneer in the field of Marketing. The question has been asked by many an interviewer if 30 Seconds to Mars really care about their fans or if they are only really good at marketing. My answer to that would be why would someone brand himself/herself with a message he/she didn’t believe in? Jared is passionate about his band and his fans therefore he tattooed symbols from each of their albums on his body. I don’t believe anyone will go that far if they didn’t care about the message(s) they were sending, the same goes for Shannon and Tomo.

Yesterday (5th November 2012) it was announced that 30 Seconds to Mars will be playing at the Download Festival in 2013 at Donington Park on the 14th – 16th of June 2013.

Exciting things still to come for Thirty Seconds to Mars, so watch this space!

You can follow 30 Seconds To Mars across various social networks here:

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/thirtysecondstomars

Twitter:https://twitter.com/30Secondstomars

MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/thirtysecondstomars

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/30secondstomars

Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/30stm/

I had to add in this funny video Jared and Shannon made which Jared posted on his YouTube channel in July:

Jared Leto

Jared Leto
Photo by Terry Richardson

Jared and Shannon Leto in the Lab

Jared and Shannon Leto in the Lab
Source: http://30secondstomars.tumblr.com/page/5

30 Seconds To Mars

30 Seconds To Mars
Photo by Terry Richardson

Proud Echelon…

Rock Regards,

Lauren K

Drummer of the Week – Shannon Leto

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Shannon Christopher Leto was born on the 9th of March 1970. He is the drummer for the band 30 Seconds To Mars and has dabbled in acting. His younger brother Jared Leto is the lead singer and guitarist for 30 Seconds To Mars. Shannon Leto aka Shanimal was born in Bossier City, Louisiana. He has been playing drums since he was 5-years-old and his favourite drummers are Nick Mason, Keith Moon, Roger Taylor and Lars Ulrich to name a few.

With 30 Seconds To Mars he practices 6-7 hours a day and he has stated in an interview with Modern Drummer Magazine in February 2006 that all the practice has made his playing more precise and given him more stamina. Shannon prefers an organic way of doing things by using electronic sounds that  the band creates themselves. Bob Ezrin who helped produce 30 Seconds to Mars’s debut album has referred to Shannon as one of the most inventive drummers he’s worked with. Shannon has described 30 Seconds to Mars’s music as having the grandiosity of Pink Floyd and the energy of the Sex Pistols. Shannon appeared on a few episodes of My So-Called Life with Jared Leto before forming 30 Seconds to Mars in 1998 with the addition of bass player Matt Wachter and later they were joined by guitarist Tomo Miličević.

Shannon has also expressed interest in writing, abstract art, progressive rock and practices photography.

“For his drums he uses Sabian Cymbals, Vater Nude 5AN drum sticks, Remo drumheads, Sonor Drums, And DW hardware. His drums are decorated with RockenWraps Skin artwork that features photos of over 400 people of The Echelon.” – Quote obtained from Wikipedia

Shannon played a small role in Prefontaine and Highway in which brother Jared played the starring role(s).

On the 19th of September 2012 Shannon Leto released a remix of Night of the Hunter a song off of Thirty Seconds to Mars‘s 3rd album This is War. If you would like to hear it you can find out more here: http://thirtysecondstomars.thisisthehive.net/blog/2012/09/19/night-of-the-hunter-shannon-leto-remix/

I think its a really interesting take on the track and I’m really happy to see that Shannon decided to do the remix himself and not let another DJ remix it instead. It really speaks volumes about the diversity of Shannon’s interests and abilities.

CB7 was the opening act for Thirty Seconds to Mars in 2011 on their tour of the US. Shannon Leto and Antoine Becks has worked on the project CB7 for two years up until it saw the light of day more or less in the middle of 2010. CB7 stems from the global underground electronic music scene. The band consists of keyboardist Adam White, bassist Noah Dean and Antoine’s cousin Matt Becks on drums. Shannon plays percussion in the band among a few other instruments. They are a pretty decent dance act, here is a video where you can see what I’m talking about:

You can listen to demos on CB7’s Facebook page here: http://www.facebook.com/CB7music

CB7

CB7 Shannon Leto and Antoine Becks Flyer
Source: http://www.facebook.com/pages/SLetoABecks-Online-FanSite/

There is little factual information available on CB7 at the moment and therefore I have posted vague time periods and have given information based on my current knowledge of CB7.

Shannon is a great live drummer and is extremely entertaining to watch. I never knew someone could exert so much energy sitting down. He bends over the drums and smashes into them with full force, you can feel and see how passionate he is about drumming.

Its really surprising that This is War was recorded in Shannon and Jared’s house, so every sound you hear on the album is unique. Shannon recorded a lot of the drums in a big room after they removed the furniture. He recorded some parts in the kitchen, other parts in the closet which consists of a cement wall and ceiling. They even recorded some parts in the hallway that was covered with mikes in order to get the sounds they wanted. A lot of the kit you hear is live and there is no manipulation. Everything else consisted of tapping on a bucket to hand claps and so forth. They would then tweak those sounds in order to make them sound the way they wanted it to. Recording in the house allowed them to come up with a lot of new ideas and encouraged spontaneity.

Night of the Hunter features a part which Shannon spent 10 days on to get it to “sound right”. Shannon learned a lot about himself and his drumming while recording and playing drums on the album on This is War. He learned how to trust someone else’s vision, to combine it with his own vision and to develop music from that. Nothing on This is War was rushed, Shannon learned that patience is a fundamental part of creation. From this album Shannon found his real “voice” and he hopes that he can continue to grow, develop and have an open mind.

The two paragraphs above was based on an interview Shannon did with DRUM! Magazine in January 2010.

I sometimes think people underestimate or disregard Shannon’s talent and contribution to the band. Shannon has proved time and again that he is a force to be reckoned with and that he has the talent and drive to back it up. Shannon has never been shy to state his love and admiration for his brother which I find infinitely sweet and admirable. I’m proud to call myself part of The Echelon and Shannon Leto will always be a third of the reason for that.

You can follow Shannon Leto on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/ShannonLeto

You can subscribe to Shannon’s updates on Facebook here: http://www.facebook.com/theshannonleto

The genius at work:

Rock Regards,

Lauren K